“The human soul dishonors itself…when it fails to direct any of its actions or impulses toward a goal, but instead acts without purpose and without attention…” Marcus Aurelius
Most of us set goals on a regular basis. The goals we set might be small goals (e.g., finishing the laundry) or large goals (e.g., starting a business). Regardless of what kind of goals we set, there are benefits associated with having some sort of objective in mind that we can regularly pursue.
Goals define a desired end state. As opposed to simply reacting to whatever life throws at us, goals allow us to be proactive by giving us a precise target we can shoot for, something unambiguous we can direct our attention and efforts toward. As a result, having a specific goal to focus on helps reduce the likelihood that we will succumb to the inevitable distractors that assail us regularly throughout our day.
Goals provide us an easy way to assess progress. Too often we find ourselves wondering if our efforts are making any real difference in our lives or the lives of those we care about. Goals, however, provide us with a concrete way to track our growth and development on a regular and objective basis.
Goals remind us of our larger purpose. That sense of purpose can be motivating and keeps us driving forward in productive directions even through life’s unavoidable challenges.
So, throughout your day today, keep your goals in the forefront of your mind. You can do this with sticky notes, a whiteboard, a desk calendar, pictures that are strategically placed, or your preferred technological gadget. Whatever your tactic, choose one and use it regularly. Also, in addition to keeping the goal itself top of mind, keep the reason why you are pursuing that goal top of mind as well. Always remember why the goal is important to you. Those two strategies will minimize distraction and maximize the likelihood that you’ll make regular progress toward the goals you’ve set.